Upon taking office, Mayor Benjamin launched the Mayor's Fellow program that has welcomed over 300 students to date.  The program is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and provides an opportunity to actively participate in the municipal government and gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government office operates. The Mayor's Fellow program caters to students satisfying class credit, fulfilling internship requirements, or those simply wishing to gain experience working in public service, the community, and the governmental arena.


Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Summer 2021 Fellowship will be conducted mostly virtually, with opportunities for in-person engagements.


Responsibilities include assisting staff with research in various areas that may affect departments/agencies within the City of Columbia, helping with special projects and assisting with various office tasks. Fellows work closely with staff to identify best practices. City of Columbia’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Selected students will be asked to dedicate ten to twenty hours per week to the fellowship program. Professional attire is required for all Mayor's Fellows.

If you are interested in this program, please apply immediately. 

How to Apply 

Fall 2021 Applications are NOW OPEN until August 6, 2021at 5pm

The attached application, along with a resume and list of references, should be completed and emailed to [email protected], or mailed to: 

Office of Mayor Benjamin
Attn: Mayor's Fellows Program
1737 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201
*In an effort to conserve paper, if you are able, please email the completed application.

Should you have any questions regarding the internship program or application, please contact Taylor Wright at [email protected], or 803-719-0036

***Please note that this is an unpaid internship program.***

Meet the Fellows

Summer 2021 Fellows

Kendrick Rashad Brown, Sr. (Bamberg, SC) is a second year high school English teacher at his alma mater, Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. He enjoyed helping coach the Varsity boys’ basketball team to a 20-2 record and the Varsity soccer team to the second round of the playoffs.  He is a graduate student in Clemson University's Public Administration program, and plans to attend law school after graduation. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with loved ones.

Haley Kathryn Capps (Myrtle Beach, SC) is a junior English and Political Science major with a minor in Journalism at the University of South Carolina Honors College. After graduation, she plans to volunteer with AmeriCorps before attending law school, and from there she hopes to become an attorney focusing on immigration and civil rights. On campus, she works as a news writer for the Daily Gamecock. As part of the Mayor’s Fellow program, she is excited to learn more about municipal government, policy implementation, and economic development initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, and reading.

Stephanie Daniel (Columbia, SC) is a rising senior Political Science and Spanish double major at the University of South Carolina. Currently, she is involved with the Opportunity Scholars Program, serves as a Senior Peer Mentor with the National Fellowships and Scholar Programs, and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. She is passionate about public policy and advocating for immigrants across South Carolina and the entire country. Stephanie is honored to be a Mayor’s Fellow and looks forward to learning how local government can help uplift marginalized communities through various initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and meeting new people.  

Brianna Drayton (Columbia, SC) is a junior in the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Managements and Marketing double major with a Public Health and Sociology minor. While in college, she plans to be affiliated with various clubs and organizations offering different leadership roles. After college, she plans to serve in the AmeriCorps for one full term. After completion of the AmeriCorps program, she plans to complete her Master’s degree dually in Business Administration/Public Health at the University of Georgia. Brianna sees the Mayor’s Fellows program as a way to learn more about government and how it works. Brianna enjoys spending her free time volunteering in her community, playing basketball, and spending time with her family and friends.

Alice Hart (Arlington, VA) is a senior philosophy and English major at the University of South Carolina. After graduation she would like to go to law school and start a career in family law. Alice has been involved in the club sailing team and sports club executive board all three years at USC, and looks forward to learning how the local government helps Columbia residents. In her free time, she can be found sailing, hiking or spending time with her friends.

Hannah Hedley (Columbia, SC) is a rising sophomore at Princeton University, where she studies in the School of Public and International Affairs, with intended certificates in American Studies and History & the Practice of Diplomacy. After college, she plans to attend law school and hopes to be a lawyer for the Department of Justice or in the JAG Corps. She is honored to be a part of the Mayor’s Fellows program, and she is looking forward to learning more about municipal government and serving the people of Columbia.

Andrea Kimpson (Columbia, SC) is a junior International Studies and Economics double major at the College of Charleston. She is also working toward a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean and a minor in Political Science. After College, she hopes to pursue a career in public policy and work in numerous areas such as education, health, and economic development. As a Fellow, Andrea hopes to learn more about local government and assist with the variety of projects concerning community development and revitalization. In her free time, Andrea enjoys reading and listening to music. 

Grace Tippett (Wilmington, NC) is a junior at the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and a double minor in Political Science and Retailing. After graduation she plans to attend law school and go on to work in the law department of a media outlet. Grace currently serves on the executive board for Gamma Phi Beta Sorority as Membership Vice President and works as a News Writer for the Daily Gamecock. She also works as a part-time sales associate at locally owned, small business SLATE on Devine. She looks forward to learning about and taking part in the many different initiatives in Mayor Benjamin’s office. She is honored for the opportunity to positively impact the Columbia community through the Mayor’s Fellows program. In her free time, she enjoys engaging in community service, shopping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.